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Backstory: UD Magazine Autumn 2017

4:30 PM  Oct 10th, 2017
by Michelle Tedford

Rarely do we have a cover story so full of art options. But even with hundreds of photos to choose from, this one stood out.

The Autumn 2017 issue of University of Dayton Magazine features a scene viewed by students as they stood along the rails of a ship navigating up the Yangtze River toward China’s Three Gorges Dam. The golden light illuminates a scene both modern and timeless, illustrating the vastness of the students’ experience as River Stewards learning about the waterways of China.

Two photographers accompanied the students on their summer study abroad. Kong Nai is the marketing coordinator at the University of Dayton China Institute in Suzhou and has shared with us beautiful photos of events at the China Institute. Zhong Jianming is chair of the department of photography at the Media College, Nanjing University of the Arts, and his work has been exhibited in China, South Korea and the United States.

The yellow hues of the photo by Zhong jumped out from the options Frank Pauer, our art director, offered. It’s not often we get to produce a cover that feels totally fresh, different from what we’ve done in the past. I had the same reaction to the Rudy Flyer cover from more than a year ago: Rudy, arms wide, reaching out from a completely white background. (Spoiler: Pauer is posing in the costume.) In 2009, the staff was captivated by the originality of an illustration of a devolved Darwin perched in a tree.

Sometimes, art does not turn out as we expect, and then we scramble for a new option that is worthy of the time you invest in the magazine. We know you have lots of options of how to spend your time. We strive to always give you something intriguing and interesting, something you can connect to or wonder about long enough to pick it up and flip the pages to Class Notes (where 50 percent of you turn first).

This month, we’ll be sending out a magazine survey. We hope to hear from you about what you like and what you want us to make better. Because while we love the photo we chose for the cover, we didn’t pick it for us: We picked it for you.

Click here to read the digital autumn magazine.

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